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An amazing combination of challenging trekking and visits to two major Inkan archaeological sites. First, the remote and lesser known, Choquequirao (the sister city of Machu Picchu) and then the mystical and famous Seventh Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu itself. Choquequirao, meaning cradle of gold in Quechua, is a partially excavated Inkan city which bears a striking similarity in structure and architecture to Machu Picchu. Choquequirao receives far fewer tourists than Machu Picchu but the ruin site is no less interesting and is a good alternative to the crowded Machu Picchu.

The ruins at Choquequirao are comprised of buildings and terraces at different levels, from the lower level, Sunch’u Pata, to the hill top, whichhas been leveled and lined with stones to form a large platform. Set at 3,085m. it is situated among the Salkantay Mountain Range above the Apurímac river. The entire complex encompasses 1,800 hectares of which 30-40% is uncovered. The site is believed to have been built during the reign of the Inka king Pachacuti Yupanqui and is considered to be the last bastion of resistance and refuge of the Sons of the Sun, who fled from the city of Cusco when it was under siege by the Spanish in 1535.

This is a challenging trek, so it is important to be well acclimatized to the altitude and have a good level of fitness.

Level: difficult.

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Day 1: Cusco to Chiquisca

We’ll take private transport early in the morning from Cusco to Cachora, an Andean community located 4-5hrs from Cusco at 2800m , and the trailhead of our hike. After meeting the horsemen & horses, we will walk for around 2.5 hours towards Abra Capuliyoc at 2750m, where we will be greeted with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the Apurimac River Canyon. From there, we’ll descend for about 2 more hours towards Chiquisca (1850m, where we’ll set-up camp and spend the night.

Day 2: Chiquisca to Choquequirao

We will leave Chiquisca very early so as to avoid the heat of the day. After hiking down to the Apurimac River for about an hour, we’ll cross the river and then continue up the other side, towards Santa Rosa, zigzagging up a steep slope for about 2 hours. From Santa Rosa, we’ll continue climbing slowly for about 4.5 hours until we reach the archaeological complex of Choquequirao (3,085m), where we’ll set-up camp.

Day 3. In Choquequirao

We have the entire day to explore this stunning Inka settlement and take a well-earned rest.

Day 4: Choquequirao to Maizal

We’ll start the day by gradually climbing out of Choquequirao to a low pass (3299m), followed by a descent to the Rio Blanco (white river) at 1909m. The beginning of the hike consists of walking through cloud forest but the descent will be through steep, open prairie, with wide views of the mountains and valleys. You’ll be able to cool off in the river, if you wish, before beginning another long, steep climb up to our campsite in Maizal. It will take us around 3 hours to reach Maizal (3000m) which is located high above the river, close to some of the sacred Apus of the Inkas.

Day 5: Maizal to Yanama

We’ll start today’s hike by walking uphill, passing by the impressive Inka mines, Minas Victoria, and walking through cloud forest and Andean pampa grass. It is a long climb to the top of the Victoria Pass (4200m) but we’ll be rewarded with fantastic views of the mountain, Choquetakarpo. As we get close to the top of the pass, we will be walking on original Inkan road. Crossing the pass, we’ll descend to our campsite, a small, isolated village, Yanama (3800m), at the bottom of a long valley surrounded by mountains. Today will be a long day of hiking, roughly 6-7 hours.

Day 6: Yanama to Totora

After breakfast, we’ll begin slowly climbing to our highest pass: Yanama Pass (4668m). We’ll be surrounded by snowcapped mountains e.g. Mt. Sacsarayoj and Mt. Padreyoj and may even see condors. Our long descent for the day will be through grassy fields and bushy areas until we reach the community of Totora (4100m), where we will spend the night. This will be another day of 6-7 hours of hiking.

Day 7: Totora to La Playa

Starting with a descent today, we’ll drop around 2000m to the Totora river. As we go down, you’ll notice the interesting birds and flowers e.g. hummingbirds, woodpeckers and the many different species of orchids and begonias. We’ll then gradually climb to reach a warmer campsite than previous nights, in the village of La Playa (2400m). Approx 7 hours hiking.

Day 8: La Playa – Aguas Calientes

From La Playa, we’ll take local transport for approximately 20 minutes to Lucma, or we’ll hike if there is no local transport available. From Lucma, we’ll climb for about 3 hours to Llactapata, a newly discovered Inkan site, which is famous for its “great condor view of Machu Picchu”. Afterwards, we’ll hike downhill for about 2.5 hours to the Hydroelectric Station, arriving around 3:00pm approximately. From the Hydroelectric Station, we’ll board a train to Aguas Calientes (45-minute journey), where we’ll stay for the night and where you will be able to enjoy a relaxing swim in the town’s famous hot springs or aguas calientes.

Day 9: Machu Picchu and return to Cusco

After an early breakfast in Aguas Calientes, we will walk or take the bus to Machu Picchu. We will receive a 2-3 hour guided tour and then you’ll have the rest of the day to explore the site, perhaps climb Huayna Picchu mountain, or visit the beautiful moon temple. We’ll then meet up again in Aguas Calientes in the afternoon and take the train back to Cusco.

  • Private transport from your hotel in Cusco to the town of Cachora
  • Train from the Hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes
  • Return shuttle bus ticket: Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes
  • Dinner in Aguas Calientes
  • Entrance fees to Choquequirao and Machu Picchu
  • Professional bilingual guide (Spanish and English)
  • High quality camping equipment
  • Mattresses, dining tent with table and chairs, bathroom tent
  • Meals during the excursion (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, vegetarian options are available)
  • Cook and cooking equipment
  • Horsemen and mules, for all camping equipment and client’s luggage (up to 10kg)
  • Coca tea is served every morning in your tent
  • Boiled water after breakfast, to refill your water bottles (1 liter per person)
  • Snacks each morning
  • Hot drinks such as coca tea, black tea and coffee in the afternoon
  • Emergency horse
  • First Aid Kit and oxygen bottle
Not Included
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trekking poles
  • Lunch on the last day in Aguas Calientes
  • Extra night in Aguas Calientes
  • Travel Insurance – we strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance for the duration of your trip
  • Tips
What you should bring
  • Original Passport and migration card
  • ISIC card (isic.org) if applicable (must be submitted at the time of booking)
  • Backpack and daypack with rain cover
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented from us)
  • Clothing for warm and cold climates e.g. lightweight pants, thermal layers
  • Rain gear: jacket, poncho, pants
  • Trekking shoes/boots
  • Slippers or sandals (for showers and hot springs)
  • Woolen or synthetic socks and a sweater
  • Long and short-sleeved polos/T-Shirts
  • Woolen hat
  • Bathing suit for the hot springs
  • Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, insect repellent
  • Personal medical kit and medication
  • Toiletries and hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
  • Small towel
  • Water bottle (recommended 1 liter)
  • Trekking poles (can be rented from us)
  • Headlamp with spare batteries (very important)
  • Some snacks such as chocolate bars and dried fruit
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Extra money for drinks, souvenirs, tips etc. (soles or dollars)
Group Service Prices

Prices vary depending on the number of people in your group.

  • 2 people USD$ 1250.00 per person
  • 3 people USD$ 1175.00 per person
  • 4 people USD$ 1100.00 per person
  • 5 + people USD$ 1025.00 per person


  • Student Discount: USD $20.00 (requires green ISIC Card)
  • Under 18’s Discount: USD $20.00
Optional extras NOT included (need to book in advance)
  • Sleeping Bag USD $30.00
  • Pair of trekking poles USD $20.00
  • Inflatable Mattress USD $30.00
  • One-person tent USD $30.00
  • Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain: USD $70.00
  • Climbing Huayna Picchu Mountain: USD $70.00
  • Vistadome Train: Aguas Calientes – Cusco: USD $50.00